Bad Summer Gossip? Tabloid Tells all About Saltaire Scandals… Maybe

Fire Island is a unique place to visit and live. Residents oftentimes get to know each other well, and sometimes, learn a secret or two about their neighbors. But with small towns and tight-knit communities also comes gossip that can spread like wildfire. This summer, the quaint Village of Saltaire experienced its very own scandal, all packaged into a leaked draft of Emma Rosenblum’s debut novel, “Bad Summer People.”

Rosenblum, chief content officer at Bustle Digital Group and daughter of former Saltaire mayor, Scott Rosenblum, is writing “Bad Summer People,” set to be published in May 2023. This summer, the manuscript ended up in the hands of residents who likely weren’t meant to read it just yet. 

Emma Rosenblum,

According to Insider, Inc., the book was passed around to residents after the manuscript had been sent to TV studios. Someone at a studio with a connection to the island passed the draft along, and it snowballed from there.

Reportedly, the drama of the book stems from Rosenblum’s use of Saltaire residents’ names, jobs and hobbies. It also features unscrupulous behavior and a murder – which did happen back in 1985 – but the book is supposedly fictional.

Perhaps Rosenblum used these names and hobbies of people she knew as placeholders. Perhaps there is truth to what Rosenblum wrote about these people. Perhaps the articles written by Insider and Daily Mail are just great marketing ploys.

Most likely the leaked version of the book was an early form of the work. Rosenblum and her editors are the only people who will know exactly what the book contains until it is released in its final form.

 Both Insider and Daily Mail have somewhat framed this as a true scandal that people cannot stop talking about. Funnily enough, while both publications only wrote articles about “Bad Summer People” in mid-August, one resident said they heard about this book two months ago.

“On Fire Island anywhere, rumors fly about anything and you have to take everything with a grain of salt,” said one resident. “In the group I interact with, this is almost a nonexistent topic of conversation.”

The pieces published by Insider and Daily Mail portray the town abuzz with scandal. Maybe that is true for some people, but according to others many didn’t know too much about the content of the novel and didn’t care to.

Whether or not the summer was riddled with scandal perhaps depends upon which social circles Saltairians run in. If the published book does draw parallels in summer of 2023, what fruits, if any, will this work of so-called Fire Island fiction hold? We will wait to find out.